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Vital Statistics: Fire company offers CPR training to locals

posted Nov 10, 2012, 6:33 AM by Charles Mitchell   [ updated Nov 10, 2012, 6:34 AM ]
Story From the Newark Post: Click Here for the Original Article 

By Katy Bowman 

Recognizing that someone is in cardiac arrest and calling 911 right away can significantly increase the victim’s chances of survival, said Lt.
Lowell Silverman, an emergency-services technician for Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder. 

But unfortunately, during those crucial first few minutes before brain damage starts to set in, many people don’t immediately recognize what’s happening, and don’t call for emergency help, he said. 

Emergency responders from Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder are offering low-cost CPR training to local community groups in an effort to change this frightening statistic. 

The offer is part of a new community-outreach program that aims to get a large percentage of the local population aware of what cardiac arrest looks like, and trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, so they can help if someone near them starts suffering from it, Silverman said.

“We’re targeting community groups like churches and sports clubs, with the reason being, that is how we can get a large number of people trained at once,” he said.

“That increases the chances that someone trained in CPR will be present when there’s an emergency.”

When a person goes into cardiac arrest, he said, as a rule of thumb, permanent brain damage sets in just four to six minutes after someone stops breathing.

“There have been instances in my own experience as an EMT where someone was in cardiac arrest, but it wasn’t recognized and acted upon quickly,” he said.

Just knowing enough to recognize that someone is in cardiac arrest and immediately calling for emergency medical attention can increase the victim’s chances of survival, he said. But in many cases – particularly those that happen inside the home – family members often don’t realize the urgency in calling 911, he said.

“Even if they didn’t know the steps for CPR, if they can just recognize that it’s an emergency and call 911, (responders) can give the steps over the phone,” he said.

“That first step is vital in a successful outcome, and in many cases, they’re not getting that.”

The company is offering a three-hour, one-time course to local groups, and anyone who completes the training will earn a two-year American Heart Association CPR certification.

Silverman said the company will send a team out to train local groups, or can host groups at the Academy Street fire station on Academy Street.

A $10 per-person cost covers the necessary training supplies.

Anyone interested in the training can fill out a request form at or call the station at             302-319-8112      .